Is High Fidelity Flight Simulation Necessary for Airline Pilot Training

5139 Words Oct 5th, 2008 21 Pages

One of the difficulties when objectivity looking into defining the levels of fidelity required in training simulations is that simulators are frequently seen as replacements for training that previously would have been conducted on the real equipment. The perception therefore is that the simulation should be as close as possible to the “real deal” in order to successfully replace it. However, the genuine advantage of using simulation in training is that where the actual equipment is designed for real operations, a training simulator can be designed to meet specific training needs without unnecessarily extending the fidelity of the simulation. A vital
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Although this goes some distance toward defining the various levels of fidelity required, it remains an area that is very difficult to completely compartmentalize in airline pilot training.
Of the three types of fidelity grouped above, the least favorite in terms of high fidelity spending on simulation seems to be environmental (Andrews, Carroll, & Bell, 1994). This may be due to past studies that have deemed sound, motion, and communication fidelity a white elephant. By that it is meant that any spending in these areas is very difficult to justify. The remaining two characteristics however, are at the center of attention in recent investigations into simulation (Macfarlane, 1997). First of these is the notion of physical fidelity, which describes the visual, kinesthetic and spatial similarities between the simulated and the genuine. The other is that of functional fidelity, which refers to the extent of accuracy in system operation (National Center for Simulation, 2007). These two focal points of research and development have resulted in a large emphasis being placed on the equipment and technology used in the support of simulator training.
There are other elements of simulation fidelity that have been much less of an impact on research. Two of those are; psychological fidelity, which refers to the degree of perceived realism, and task fidelity, defined as the degree to which a simulation is able to recreate the actual parameters of the operational mission

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